Things you think you take for your benefit can sometimes turn out to be things that are not so great for your health. It is not easy to accept the facts when you have become used to eating or drinking something. Who would have thought that energy drinks would be connected to traumatic brain injuries in people? The recent study has come off as a huge shock for drinkers of energy drinks and companies that make them. However, the case is not that serious right now since the connection seems very weak and indirect.
The likelihood of having energy drinks in people with traumatic brain injuries was reported to be much higher as compared to the likelihood of energy drinks in people who did not have brain injury. It was reported to be 7 times higher in people with traumatic brain injury, which is quite a big number. The study was conducted on teenagers and it was found out that teens with brain injury had had at least 5 energy drinks in a span of just one week. This particular study got published in the famous journal that goes by the name of PLOS One.
The basic study that was taken into consideration to come up with these findings was actually conducted in 2013. In that particular study there were a little more than 10,000 students that became part of the study. The students that participated in the study in 2013 were from grades 7 to 12. The likelihood of having energy drinks in teens that had received a traumatic brain injury in the past year was two times higher. Furthermore, it was observed that these teens did not take only energy drinks but had resorted to a mixture of energy drink with alcohol.
The same study was conducted for students that were involved in some sort of sport. These students showed a double figure on the likelihood of having energy drinks in the past year. Their double figures were in comparison to other students who had also received traumatic brain injuries but because of scuffles, fights and other accidents. Gabriela Ilie works at St. Michael’s Hospital and take care of the division of Neurosurgery and Injury Prevention Research Office, and is the author of this study. She stated that sports came out as the common factor when the study took traumatic brain injuries and energy drinks into consideration.
Gabriela pointed out an important point referring to the marketing campaigns that are often conducted by the makers of the energy drinks. She thinks that these campaigns are often associated with sports and they are often sponsoring sports events as well. What this means is that energy drinks attract teens to play sports and their association with sports makes teens drink more. Gabriela pointed out that the use of energy drinks and alcohol in teens is not a matter that should be taken for granted. She even talked about a research that showed that drinking coffee could easily prohibit people from realizing the effects of their alcohol use.
She also pointed out that fact that teens taking energy drinks as a mixture with alcohol are causing a huge damage to their health. The effects of energy drinks might not be big on their bodies but when they combine energy drink with alcohol, the effects are formidable to their brains. She even said that the effects of combining alcohol with energy drinks are not just physical but also emotional in nature. Gabriela also brought our attention to the fact that the brains of people are still in the development stage between 20 and 30 years of age.
Gabriela clarified that it is still not that easy to clearly say that there is a connection between traumatic brain injuries and energy drinks. She said that in order to have a strong conclusion on the matter, we need to perform more experiments and studies on the effects of energy drinks on the brain since the information available right now is very small. According to the recent studies conducted by the most reliable sources, 50% of the teens prefer to go for an energy drink instead of having a cola or soda drink.
The trend of having energy drinks in the young generation is quite high in the US and this is why it is expected that the energy drink industry is going to have a huge boost in the coming times. According to an estimate, within 5 years the energy drink making companies will be making roughly $27 billion every year. By the end of 5 years the market of energy drinks would have grown by 11% easily. However, this was only one side of the story. On the other side we have people representing beverage industry. One group, called the American Beverage Association, has commented on the issue.
The officials from the association have said that it would be against the facts to say that there is any connection between traumatic brain surgeries and the energy drinks. They also said that there is no indication within the study conducted that there are any harmful effects of the energy drinks per se. During the comments they also quoted the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) by saying that this authority has conducted the necessary checkups on the energy drinks and declared these drinks fully safe. They even said that their drinks contain much less caffeine than there is in a cup of coffee that people drink usually.
The officials from the association also said that beverage companies take all the measures they can to ensure that their ingredients and drinks meet the standards set by the federal bodies. On the other hand, Gabriela is of the view that the effects, positive and negative both, are not fully known about energy drinks. While it won’t be right to say that these drinks cause any bad effects on people’s health, it is equally the responsibility of the companies to not associate these drinks particularly with sports.